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Octane, Non-Ethanol and Pinging problems

MikeT

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#1
Ok, I haven't ridden in a long time and actually got the chance to ride this past weekend (be easy on me =) ). With all the problems Ethanol has been causing, I decided to use the Non-Ethanol fuel at my local gas station. (Bike in question is a 2000 YZ-250 2-stroke, totally stock). I bought it not thinking I'd have a problem with the octane rating. They only sell it in one octane and that's 87. I thought not having any ethanol would be better than 93 with ethanol. Well, I was wrong. The bike was pinging when I rode it so I just took it easy so it wouldn't ping and then called it a day (I maybe just ran about 1/3 a tank through it so there should be no damage done). When I got home I drained the tank and went out and got some Royal Purple octane booster and added it to all my fuel so I will run the octane boosted fuel next time I ride. If it even does boost the octane like it says it does.

My question is this. Will the booster help or should I just be using 93 with ethanol in it? If the booster is bogus, should I just add some 93 gas (and oil) to what I have? I just don't want to have to constantly be draining my float bowl and tank and be worrying about little seals getting eaten by the alcohol.
 

MikeT

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#2
Anyone have any advice on this?
 
- a d v e r t i s e m e n t -

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#3
Anyone have any advice on this?
Mike - It really depends on what the component makeup of the octane booster is, where in the fuel distillation curve it will exert it's octane effects and what the root cause of the detonation really is. That's a long winded way of saying do a few test passes under load using the octane booster and see how it goes. It's easy to pick up evidence of light detonation on a clean plug. It will look like little black pepper specs on the nose of the porcelain.

Of course (and you knew I would get to this) the better long term solution is to get a small quantity of good leaded race fuel and cut that pump swill with it till you have a workable safety margin. If the ethanol was enough to keep the detonation in check then it shouldn't take too high a percentage of real fuel to prop up the pump gas.
 
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MikeT

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#4
Thanks, Rich. I was waiting for your response because I know I'll get good info. Thanks for the description of what to look for on the plug. I'll look at that tonight.

My plan for tomorrow (if I can ride) is to try what I have with the booster in it and see if it pings. If it still pings, I'm going to drain my tank and fill it with 93 (with ethanol, yuck!) and verify that the pinging is gone and then I can dilute my 87 stuff with race fuel for the next week.

Let me ask you this, Is the ethanol really as much of a problem as I am thinking? Is everyone else using it and not having a problem or do they all use race fuel? Is my fuel system going to get eaten up if I leave it in there or do I need to drain everything every week? I hate ethanol.
 

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